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Raspberry Sorbet

One of my favourite parts of summer is the abundance of delicious fruits. But what do you do when you have more deliciousness than you can eat?

Make sorbet.

raspberry sorbet

Small, but mighty. There’s a load of flavour in that tiny bowl.

My parents brought us 2 pints of freshly-picked raspberries from their patch. I thus discovered it’s hard to eat that many raspberries at one time. Not wanting them to go to waste, and not wanting to just freeze them whole, I thought I’d try making a sorbet.

Teachable moment

For anyone who is not familiar with this fancy-shmancy term, a sorbet is a frozen dessert, typically made with fruit or fruit juice, water, and sugar (or some combination of any of these). The amount of sugar you use depends on how sweet your fruit is, and how sweet you want your sorbet to be. My raspberries were nice and tart (like a good raspberry should be), so I went with a full cup of sugar to combat that.

Now, before you start griping about the calories, you only need about a 1/4 cup of this for a serving, because the flavour is so intense. You also shouldn’t eat the whole batch all in one sitting, like a carton of ice cream (no judgement). However, if you choose to do so, that’s on you. I’m absolving myself of any responsibility here and now. *wipes hands clean*

Sorbet starting point

First step: make a simple syrup. That means, add equal parts water and sugar to a saucepan, don’t stir them together AT ALL, and boil until the sugar dissolves. You will end up with a nice, sweet pot of water that is a little thicker than usual. This is your simple syrup. It is appropriately named: simple. Let that cool for a while, until it is no longer scalding hot.

Side note:

I have seen bottles of simple syrup at the grocery store selling for $6 or more. Please do not buy those ever. That is just wrong. Seriously, if you can’t be bothered to make simple syrup, just ask me to come over and do it for you. It’s a matter of principle.

Raspberries aplenty

Time for the raspberries to get their treatment. It’s best to use fresh, rinsed raspberries, but if you have frozen ones, just let them thaw first. Throw 3-4 cups of raspberries into the food processor and pulse them like there’s no tomorrow…or, 5-6 times to loosen them up. Then, while pulsing, drizzle in your simple syrup that you made with your own two hands (and didn’t buy at the store, thank you very much). Keep pulsing until no large pieces of fruit remain. Throw in some lime juice (I happen to like raspberry and lime), pulse it again, and behold the vibrant, glorious, seedy liquid.

Strain that sorbet, y’all

Raspberries taste great, but those seeds seriously suck, and you definitely don’t want those in a frozen dessert. So grab a fine mesh sieve (preferably one that won’t stain…raspberries are unforgiving), and place it over a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that has high sides (at least 2″). Pour your raspberry mixture into the sieve, and press it through to get all the liquid out into your pan. Once strained, place the pan in the freezer for at least 8-10 hours, preferably overnight.

Making the sorbet into…sorbet

When you take the pan out of the freezer, it’s going to look like a frozen block of red stuff. Not very appealing at this point, but we’re going to fix that.

Let the pan sit for a few minutes to soften the sorbet mixture around the edges and bottom. Then, break it into smaller chunks. Place half of the chunks into your (hopefully cleaned out; it’s been almost 24 hours, people) food processor. Pulse them until they are smooth and creamy in texture. Transfer that to a freezer-safe container, and repeat the process with the remaining chunks.

Trust me, you do not want to skip the last step with the food processor. It is amazing what a difference it makes. It turns the slushie-type, ho-hum ice stuff into a soft, velvety taste of heaven. It becomes scoopable like ice cream at this stage as well.

Serving the sorbet

As previously mentioned, you don’t need a huge portion of this sorbet. It’s a very concentrated flavour, and a little goes a long way. But its cold deliciousness makes a perfect after-dinner treat when it’s hot as … something … outside, and you need just a little taste to cool you down.

Recipe: Raspberry Sorbet

1 c water
1 c sugar
3-4 c fresh raspberries
2 T lime juice (approximately half a lime)

  1. Combine water and sugar in high-sided saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer to a heat-proof container.
  6. Place in fridge or freezer to cool (slightly below room temperature).
  7. Rinse fresh raspberries.
  8. Place raspberries in food processor.
  9. Pulse raspberries a few times.
  10. While pulsing, drizzle in cooled syrup.
  11. Pulse until no large pieces of fruit remain.
  12. Pour in lime juice.
  13. Pulse a few times to incorporate.
  14. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a 9×13 baking pan.
  15. Pour raspberry mixture into the sieve.
  16. Press raspberry mixture through the sieve to strain out the liquid.
  17. Transfer the 9×13 pan to the freezer.
  18. Leave pan to freeze overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.
  19. Remove pan from freezer.
  20. Break mixture into smaller chunks.
  21. Place half the chunks in the food processor.
  22. Pulse until smooth.
  23. Transfer to freezer-proof dish.
  24. Repeat with remaining chunks.
  25. Serve immediately, or store in freezer for up to 1 week.

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